In 2020, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a favourite podcast to listen to during their commute or while they exercise. When people are asked about what they listen to, podcast heavyweights like The Joe Rogan Experience and The Tim Ferris Show usually come to mind. In these shows, the hosts interview guests on any number of topics such as mindfulness, astrophysics, human conditioning, and comedy etc. As long as something can be talked about, it can be the subject of a podcast.
Although the topics can vary widely, the common element in podcasts is that there is a conversation being had or a story being told. Typically, a podcast will be guided by a central theme and with so many potential topics available for discussion, it’s no surprise that podcasts have become an increasingly common form of entertainment and learning.
However, podcasting isn’t something that’s limited to the realm of entertainment, and more and more companies are starting their own podcasts. Just a week ago, StashAway, a robo-advisory wealth management platform based in Singapore, started their own podcast In Your Best Interest, which is aimed at helping listeners make better financial decisions. SmartUp also started our own podcast Humanizing Learning where we released our first episode in July 2019.
There are many reasons for companies to start their own podcast and in the rest of this post, I will share those that I feel are most beneficial.
1. It Helps Build Brand Awareness
Starting a podcast is a good way to help your company build brand awareness and educate customers so they can get to the point of value faster.
As you get more and more listeners interested in the podcast content you put out, your company and the services and products it sells will start to resonate more in the minds in your listeners.
When starting a podcast with building brand awareness as a goal, it’s important to note that you do not need it to be a hard-sell of your products or your brand. If you consistently put out interesting content related to the industry you’re in, your listeners might be more inclined to purchase a product from your company based on the expertise or thought leadership you’ve shared, without that in-your-face feeling that typically comes with digital advertising.
An additional and related perk is that it helps to expand your network. When I record episodes of Humanizing Learning, I always make it a point to connect with our guests after the show on LinkedIn. In addition to helping to promote the episodes when they get released (again improving brand awareness), you’ll never know if there is an opportunity further down the line that results from the connection you made over recording a podcast episode.
2. It Helps Humanize the People In Your Organization
If you work for a large organization with a large workforce of hundreds or even thousands of people, it’s hard to imagine interacting with people at all levels of the organization and across different business functions. For example, how often do you think a fresh graduate who’s just entered a company with a workforce of more than a thousand people will get to speak to the CEO? Once in a blue moon, if at all.
Starting a podcast allows people at all levels of the organization to listen to the thoughts and ideas of key groups of people in the organization e.g. the leadership team, the heads of various departments. Having the ability to listen directly to how the decision-makers in the organization approach challenges is a good way to instil confidence in a large team of employees who may not hear these thoughts otherwise.
The interactions between members in an organization may not necessarily increase, but at least listeners can get a sense of the thought process behind why an organization has taken the steps it has. Importantly, getting to know the people in the organization also helps people recognize that at the end of the day, an organization is run by people, not positions.
3. Podcasting has a low barrier to entry
Starting your own podcast doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, if you simply don’t have a budget, it is entirely possible to start your own podcast free-of-charge. All you need to start is:
- A recording device, e.g. your laptop or mobile phone, connected to a set of headphones works. We initially decided to get 2 portable lavalier mics as our episodes were not recorded at any fixed location (pre-Covid). Now, all of our podcast recording sessions have shifted to Zoom.
- A podcast hosting service – the one we use is PodBean, which has a free plan available. The plan we are on costs US$108 annually to remove the audio limit and advertising that comes with the free plan. This is where all your recordings would be uploaded and for you to customize things like your podcast name, episode details etc.
- Accounts on podcasting platforms where you would like your podcast to be accessible e.g. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher etc. These accounts are free to create and use. Once you set up these accounts, you’ll need to connect the podcast hosting service of your choice with these accounts so that these platforms can play your podcast.
The points listed above are based on our requirements for Humanizing Learning. You may require additional equipment based on your show’s specific format i.e. if you want to have more than one guest on your podcast.
That being said, if you consider how much a typical digital marketing/advertising campaign costs, it really puts into perspective how easy it is to start your own podcast. Once you have done all the necessary prep work, simply start recording and uploading. From there, you’ll be able to tweak your podcast format or style based on the feedback you receive.
If you’re keen to start a podcast for your company, drop us a note at email@example.com to see how you can work with SmartUp’s Content Studio to produce and manage your podcast.